New Lankan entrepreneurs need training | Sunday Observer

New Lankan entrepreneurs need training

Emerging Sri Lankan entrepreneurs who enter the Chinese market find it difficult to establish linkages to build-up market share. They need to be trained and educated on the process that is accepted in creating a relationship with Chinese trade counterparts.

This was highlighted by Director, Market Development Division, Export Development Board (EDB) Anoma Premathilake at a seminar titled ‘Enhancing exports to China and attracting investments’ held in Colombo last week.

“Sri Lanka is familiar with trading with the West, but not with that part of the world. Therefore, it is important to develop the necessary skills in developing business contacts with the Chinese counterparts who have a deep rooted culture. Entrepreneurs need to understand this dimension to benefit in the long run,” she said.

When the country participates in SME trade fairs there is a lot of enthusiasm shown by Chinese businessmen. However, emerging local entrepreneurs fail to convert these initial demands in to an export order often due to lack of knowledge on the market and consumer behaviour, she said.

Emphasizing the fact that the main focus of the EDB is Asia, she said that there is high potential to scale up trade with China and increase export values and volumes.

“The Chinese people are fascinated by foreign products and Sri Lanka could emerge as a potential exporter for many goods including tea, coconut fibre, apparel and parts of footwear. There is new demand for fish, gloves, fruits and edible plants, natural rubber and activated carbon. There is a lot of scope to improve and trade is expected to grow continuously with the right linkages,” Premathilake said.

The local banana has cleared the quarantine requirement that is necessary to export to China and mango and pineapple will also receive clearance in the near future enabling the country to export them to China. This is a huge achievement and we are looking forward to add these products to the export basket shortly, she said.

The trade between Sri Lanka and China reached US $ 4 billion last year and exports to China were less that US $ 500 million.